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Jackson, Wyoming | photo by Julie Weinberger


Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

Photo by Tyler Horne



hile visiting my family in New York for the holidays, I in cross-promotional campaigns to increase the visibility of our was battered by the stop-and-go traffic on the Merritt sports. Successful local campaigns could include setting up a Parkway. As the chaotic braking began to grate on my hang glider in lobbies, handing out rack cards with local contacts nerves, I noticed a white sticker on a Toyota pickup in front of to parents interested in free flight, or even running a raffle for a lesson in exchange for contact information. Stay tuned for more me—a sticker with a USHPA logo. Amazing. information on USHPA’s many projects in the new year, includUSHPA has 10,000 members and, while it is common for me ing the previously mentioned outreach initiative, and check out to see a USHPA sticker on a car in a small town in Wyoming, the the Rio trailer at, in the meantime. odds of seeing that red, white, and blue emblem on a major New The February issue highlights a growing segment of the York thoroughfare is rare. So I began to think how interesting it free flight community—speed flying. Chris Santacroce and would be if as many people nationwide were a part of our excitMatt Gerdes chime in on speed flying in the USA and overseas. ing sports as, say, kayaking, rugby, or dirt-bike racing. While The issue also includes two galleries to keep your imagination we have the intrinsic benefits of being part of a small soulful alive during the depths of winter. Jody McDonald displays her community, we could have a stronger presence with landowners stunning work from the Best Odyssey’s visit to Mozambique, and regulators and kindred spirits across the country to share our and David Aldrich presents a rocking gallery from Southern passions and adventures. California that covers the gamut, both far and near. As we head into 2011, USHPA plans to continue its outreach If it’s gear you’re thinking about during the off-season, check to local chapters and clubs on various topics. A major directive out Kevin Carter’s review of the Flytec 6015 or, if training of the organization in the coming year is growth, and a great opand dusting off cobwebs is on your mind as spring approaches, portunity for reaching out to the non-initiated, aka non-USHPA Kristjan Morgan’s piece on towing in the Utah desert will suit stickered vehicles, is through an animated film slated for release your fancy. in April, 2011, called Rio. Hopefully, you are headed somewhere to fly this winter. If not, This film, from the creators of Ice Age, focuses on a blue Macaw who learns to fly, among other things. One scene revolves maybe the February issue will tide you over until next month as around hang gliders flying from the launch in Rio de Janeiro, the days grow longer. Brazil. USHPA will be distributing information to clubs, schools, and chapters to help them approach movie theaters in each region. The organization hopes to partner with theaters Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero


New | Improved | Buzzworthy


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Skywalk’s flagship, the Poison, is now in its third generation in sizes M and S with EN-D and, respectively, LTF-D certification. Skywalk claims that the bar was already high for the Poison 3, since the Poison 2 was such an extraordinary success. Skywalk reports they have packed loads of highlights into the Poison 3. One of them, the Aerofabrix AL32, is a double-protective coating. Thanks to this additional coating, the mechanical abrasion resistance of the silver cloth has been improved. Despite an aspect ratio of 7, the Poison 3 impresses with good balanced handling which, in turn, helps to realize an enormous flight performance. Skywalk claims that the rigid foil elements in the nose profile, in combination with the innovative individual line connections to the risers, provide unprecedented stability, especially when accelerated. The Poison 3 is certified in size M from 90-110kg. S covers the range of 80100kg. Info: www.skywalk. info or

U-Turn announced the release of their popular acrobatic wing the Thriller 2011. They claim that the new outline, redesigned rear edge, and optimized AFS System (Automatic Flight Stabilization) help the canopy to behave less aggressively. In turn, the pilot now has larger time frames for control impulses. The Thriller is available in attrac-

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

The 2010 election for USHPA regional directors has ended and the votes have been counted. Here are the results: Only Region 2 had contested seats. In each of the other regions, the incumbents were reelected. A valid election requires a minimum of eleven votes in each region, and that requirement was satisfied. Accordingly, the following directors will continue to serve for the 2011-2012 term.   R1: Rich Hass R3: Bill Helliwell R4: Mark Gaskill R7: Tracy Tillman R8: Michael Holmes

R9: Felipe Amunategui R10: Steve Kroop R12: Paul Voight In Region 2, there were two candidates for the seat. In a very close race, Dave Wills retained the seat by a vote of 81 to 80 over challenger Jon Blome. Regions not listed did not hold an election this year. Directors are elected for two year terms, so regions with only one director have an election every other year.  Thanks to everyone for participating in the election! If you have questions or comments about the election process, send them to me by email at Mark G. Forbes, USHPA Elections Committee Chairman







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Membership | Policy | Involvement

TheASSOCIATION by Lisa Coletti & Tracy Tillman TOWLINE RETURNS  In 2006-2007, we

variety of different deadline dates for implementing different parts of the regulations, making it all the more confusing. Tracy: The FAA is consistent! The newly published rule for re-registration lists no less than 48 different dates related to compliance: (a) 12 months for issuance of a past registration certificate, (b) 12 dates for certificate expiration, (c) 12 dates for the start of the re-registration periods, and (d) 12 dates for the end of the re-registration periods. Lisa: This time, at least, the new reregistration rule is published all in one place, in FAR Part 47.40 [ref 1]. Tracy: So, what’s this new rule all about? Lisa: First, over the next three years, the FAA will terminate the registration of ALL aircraft registered before October 1, 2010. Second, the FAA will require the reregistration of every aircraft to retain its U.S. civil aircraft status. Then, under the new system, all aircraft must continue to be re-registered every three years. [ref 2] Tracy: Why are they doing this? Tracy: It’s likely that many tug pilots Lisa: The FAA estimates that nearly and tug aircraft owners who went through one-third of all aircraft registration rethe “Light Sport Aircraft/Sport Pilot” cords are inaccurate [ref 3], and they have transition may feel, in retrospect, that the no idea how many of the 375,000 aircraft process seemed more difficult than it actu- currently in the registry actually exist anyally was, because it was so confusing. more [ref 4]. Of course, the existence of all Lisa: I’d have to agree. The biggest these inaccurate records has ramifications problem was that it involved a multitude for Homeland Security. of new and changed rules that were spread Tracy: Is there any good information throughout different sections of the available that can help guide tug/aircraft FAR’s in Title 14 CFR (Code of Federal owners through the re-registration proRegulations). Additionally, there were a cess? Lisa: First look at the primary source, the FAR itself [ref 1]. Also, the “First, over the next three years, Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has some good information posted on the FAA will terminate the regis- their web site [refs 3,5], as does the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) tration of ALL aircraft registered [ref 6]. The AOPA also has a very good video posted online that explains the probefore October 1, 2010. Second, cess [ref 7]. Tracy: It would be nice to give our the FAA will require the re-regis- readers a basic step-by-step explanation to help guide them through the process. tration of every aircraft to retain Want to give that a shot? Lisa: That figures, putting me on the its U.S. civil aircraft status.” spot again—OK, I’ll try. First, look at your actual aircraft registration certificate co-authored a series of ten Towline column articles for HG/PG magazine (also posted on the web site) that were intended to help tug pilots and tow-rated hang glider pilots better understand current methods, technology, rules, and regulations associated with aero-towing of hang gliders. Our primary goal was to present a set of guidelines to help tug owners convert and register their tugs to meet the then-new FAA Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) regulations and to help tug pilots understand how to attain proper credentials to fly and tow with FAAregistered tugs. Towline is back and, as before, we’ ll use an editorial dialogue-team format and primarily focus on issues related to towing. Our intent is to present information about towing that is as factual as possible, but we will also share our personal opinions on certain topics. In this issue of “Towline” we will continue our discussion of Sport Pilot/LSA issue—this time in regard to the FAA’s new aircraft re-registration requirements.


Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

to see when it was issued. A quick and easy alternative way to do this is to look it up online, on the FAA’s Aircraft Registration Information search page [ref 8]. I suggest that you search by your name or your aircraft’s N-number. If you own more than one plane, it is easy to find them all at one time if you search by name. For example, if you just type in your last name followed by your first name, a list of all aircraft that are registered under you name will come up. Click on the N-number, and the specific registration information for that aircraft will be presented. Under “Aircraft Description,” both the Certificate Issue Date and Expiration Date for your plane will be listed. Tracy: Then, look at the chart of reregistration dates published in FAR 47.40 [ref 1]. Your required re-registration date is based on your aircraft’s registration Certificate Issue Date and/or Expiration Date. The chart shows that the FAA is providing a specific 3-month period for you to re-register your aircraft, starting 5 months prior to its expiration. For example, if your registration certificate was originally issued in the month of April (of any year), it will expire on June 30, 2011. For that expiration date, the FAA wants you to re-register that aircraft between Feb. 1, 2011, and April 30, 2011. For any aircraft, its registration expiration date and required re-registration period is solely dependent upon the month (of any year) of its original Issue Date. The first set of registration certificates to expire are those that were originally issued in the month of March (of any year). These will expire soon—on March 31, 2011. Lisa: The FAA is supposed to send owners a notice of their airplane’s registration expiration about 6 months prior to its expiration date, which is about one month prior to its re-registration period. It is important to know those dates now, in case you don’t receive your re-registration notice from the FAA. It is possible that the mailing address the FAA has on record for you is incorrect. Even though aircraft owners and pilots are required to report an address change within 30 days of the change, the FAA says that more than 30,000 aircraft owners risk having their aircraft registrations canceled because the addresses they have on file with the FAA are incorrect or out of date [ref 6].

Tracy: It is important for you to check your records now on the FAA’s Aircraft Registration Information web site [ref 8] to make sure your mailing address is correct. If not, you should update your mailing address right away, using the FAA’s Aircraft Owner Change of Address Notification Form [ref 9], which can be filled out online but must be printed, signed, and mailed to the FAA. You may also need to update your address on your airman certificate, which can be done online if you establish an account with the Airman Certification Branch [ref 10] or by mail using the FAA Airman Change of Address Notification Form 8060-55 [ref 11]. Lisa: If an ownership change has occurred that has not yet been reported, the seller should report the sale to the Registry, and the purchaser should submit their application for registration, evidence of ownership, and $5 registration fee to the Registry as soon as possible [ref 12]. Tracy: OK, the first step, basically, is to check and correct your records. Let’s look at the next step of the re-registration process. If your registration expiration notification arrives on time as planned by the FAA (ha!), you can use a special code that is sent along with the notice to re-register online. Re-registering online is easy. All you need to do is go to the FAA’s Re-Registration web page [ref 13], use your special code to access the online re-registration form, fill out the form, and pay the $5 re-registration fee by credit card. However, you can only re-register online if (a) you have the special code, (b) you re-register during the three month reregistration period assigned to you, and (c) you don’t have to report any changes regarding ownership, address, or citizenship. [ref 14] Lisa: If you do not want to use the electronic option or if you need to report any changes to the record, you can use a paper FAA Aircraft Re-registration Application Form 8050-1A [ref 15] and mail it to the FAA Registry in Oklahoma City. Tracy: What if an aircraft owner missed their assigned three month re-registration period? Lisa: They will still have two months for re-registering, using the paper form. However, they may not receive their new registration certificate right away, meaning the plane could be grounded until it Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero


2011 & Paragliding Association ing Glid g Han es Stat United

Analysis | Preparedness | Incidents

SafetyBULLETIN THE WORST ACCIDENTS  Obviously, no paragliding accidents are “good,” but some seem much worse than others. In this article we look at some avoidable accidents.

Accident 1 In May 2008 a young man was helping a paraglider pilot launch in windy conditions in Scotland. While he was holding the harness straps, the paraglider became airborne and suddenly gained height. Trapped by the harness straps, the unwitting passenger was swept 200 feet into the air. Three minutes later, he fell from the straps, plunging to the ground and down a gully. He suffered serious chest and spinal injuries and died after rescuers reached him.

Accident 2 Accident 2 occurred in October 2010 at a beach site in Southern California. A whole group of pilots had long flights during the afternoon before landing on the beach, where the wind was around 8 to 12 mph. The direction was good, but the wind was


Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

Germany. A 19-year-old pilot forgot to close the leg straps of his race harness prior take-off. He was able to hold on to gusty and blowing harder higher up. the harness with his arms until he flew The accident pilot was a relatively in- over a lake. There, he lost his grip and fell experienced intermediate pilot. He started out of the harness into the lake. The fall, kiting his glider by holding the bottom of from around 200 feet, was fatal. the risers (just where they clip into the karabiners) with both hands; he wasn’t Accident 4 wearing a harness or a helmet. Accident 4 occurred in August 2009 in An eyewitness reports: “A sudden gust Gerlitzen, Austria. A professional tandem of wind picked up the pilot and quickly pilot was flying with a Dutch tourist. A took him to a dangerous height. The horrific video clearly shows that, while size of the paraglider and the absence the passenger was hooked in with both of weighty equipment may have contrib- karabiners, the pilot was only hooked in uted to the quick ascent. He was unable to on one side. steer the paraglider or reach the brakes.” The glider flew for some time before A horrific series of photographs show crashing, killing both the pilot and the the pilot’s flight. It appears that the pilot passenger. held on for as long as he could before fallYou can learn more about this accident ing to his death. at: The combination of gusty wind and viewtopic.php?t=26463 very steep cliffs generated more lift than the pilot expected to encounter. Obviously, General Conclusions he gained height so quickly he didn’t feel The lessons from such accidents tend to be he had a chance to let go. fairly general—a sort of aviation version of Murphy’s Law: anything that can go Accident 3 wrong, will go wrong. Accident 3 occurred In July 2010 in In all cases, the pilots were not ready to by Douglas Mullin

fly. In the first two cases, the victims did not intend to fly. In the last two cases, the victims thought they were ready to fly, but were not. A little more caution and all five victims would still be alive today.

number of leg-strap incidents and deaths. Their use should be encouraged. The pilot in Accident 3 was wearing a race harness. Such a harness typically has a skirt that closes over the straps and often an instrument cockpit that obscures Helping Others Launch in Strong the straps as well. Many competition harConditions nesses do not come with interconnected Accident 1 involved someone’s helping a leg straps. So it is much easier to launch a pilot launch in strong conditions. There is race harness with the leg straps unfastened a compelling argument that if a solo pilot than a regular harness. Consequently, sevneeds help to launch in such conditions, eral other non-fatal accidents involving he should stay on the ground. Generally, them have occurred. Hopefully the mantandem pilots have a slightly harder time ufacturers will improve the design of such in such conditions. Many tandem pilots, harnesses to reduce the risks. including professional ones, will ask an onlooker to help stabilize the passenger. Leg Straps and Pre-flights Whether such help is given to a solo or Almost every pilot has taken off (or tried tandem pilot, it should be given very care- to take off) when something was wrong. fully. The helper should be a fellow pilot, Speed bar not connected, riser twists, a not a non-flying onlooker. Helpers must knot in the glider, GPS not switched on— not let themselves become airborne; they there’s a long list of things you can easily should only help stabilize the wing as it get wrong. I’ve certainly made some of comes up, then let go. these mistakes. See It’s hard to go over everything that can video/65675044871_aerial-testing_airhelp you avoid simple mistakes like these, ship_men-on-ground_men-jump for an but three techniques help quite a bit: illustration of what can go wrong…. First, establish a methodical process and go through the steps carefully. If you Kiting are interrupted when getting ready to Kiting is a great way to build skill in con- launch, start over, at the beginning. trolling your glider, but it does not come Second, if anything seems wrong (e.g., without risks. If you are kiting, you should the glider is coming up off-center, the be prepared to fly. You need to wear your glider looks strange, the pull on your harharness and your helmet. You also need to ness doesn’t feel right), stop and check it consider the conditions carefully; kiting out. in conditions you would not fly in deThird, avoid rushing on launch; premands real care. There have been at least pare early and take your time (even if it two other kiting fatalities in the US. annoys others waiting to launch). Flying sites generally have lots of lift, Leg straps are covered at these weband kiting there (whether on launch or on sites: http://www.paraglidingforum. a beach) greatly increases your chances of com/viewtopic.php?t=34706 and http:// accidentally flying. can read more about risks of harness-safety-advice and http://www. kiting at: http://www.expandingknowl- Skill/All/J_Tips/English.htm#Forgot_to_ English.htm#Kiting_BodyUnattached Fasten_Leg_Straps and The topic of pre-flights checks is disviewtopic.php?t=12281 cussed at: http://www.paraglidingforum. com/viewtopic.php?t=26463

Leg Straps, Flight Decks and Race Harnesses

Learning from Others

Nowadays, most harnesses come with leg When preparing this article, I did quite a straps that interconnect with the waist bit of research on the web. It was hard not buckles. These harnesses reduce the risk to be depressed by the number of kiting of launching with the leg-straps unfas- and leg-strap fatalities. Let’s be careful out tened and have significantly reduced the there!

Speed Flying “When teenagers arrive for tandem flights, they see speed-flying and make comments like, ‘I want to do THAT.’”


Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero


he US speed-flying scene has come of age. Sun Valley, Bozeman, Salt Lake City and Crystal Mountain, Washington, have all emerged as hot spots for traditional style—on-snow speedflying. The 16-18 meter wings that are geared to foot launching, soaring, and top landing can be seen in most areas of the US: Boston, Austin, North Carolina. Who knew? This new breed of canopies is being flown everywhere. But can they be flown by everyone? Count the number of times you drove to the end of a dirty and dusty road and couldn’t fly because it was blowing 20 or 25. Count the hours you stood there waiting for the wind to die down a little. Count the number of times you didn’t get to fly at all. How many weeks in a row did that happen? Times have changed. Now, we can bust

by Chris Santacroce photos provided by

out anything from a 14 to an 18 meter wing and soar up a storm on what used to be a blown-out day. We even hear of paragliders who speed-fly grumbling that they could use a few 20-25 mph days. I know a guy who used to fly hang gliders and paragliders who sold both and only does speed-flying now. I know a paraglider who switched to speed-flying, decided he liked the speed, and learned to hang glide. Some of the most conservative paragliders in our Salt Lake City flying community have taken up speed-flying. When teenagers arrive for tandem flights, they see speed-flying and make comments like, “I want to do THAT.” Sky divers are tired of spending hundreds a day and hanging out at airports. Paragliders are tired of slow motion flying and being blown out. Hang gliders are tired of the logistics but still want the

speed and stability. Could it be that everyone wants to speed-fly? Youtube has glamorized these small canopies, and candidates are coming out of the woodwork. In the proper conditions, new students can be flying small canopies off places like the top of the South Side of the Point of the Mountain on their first day. It seems as if anyone who can take a few fast steps can speed-fly. If you dig a little deeper, you might even notice a more subtle change. As a community, we are putting less value on the duration or complexity of a flight. We are oftentimes happy to hike up for an hour and fly down in a few minutes. You hear less of the “I am not interested in a sledder” mentality and a lot more yahoos and high-fives. That might be what it is all about: we have come full circle and the simple flight is back in fashion. Chris Santacroce is Super Fly in Sandy, Utah. Super Fly is one of the largest handlers of paragliding and speed-flying products in the US. His school teaches paragliding, speed-flying and over-the-water maneuvers’ training.

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero



Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

“Leave your shoes at home. There is nothing but soft white sand.”


[previous] Skipper Gavin McClurg is the first to soar Bazaruto, Mozambique. [below] Local fishermen ply the azure waters of the Bazaruto archipelago. [opposite] Days like this, you wish never end. Photos by Jody McDonald.


s a pilot, I am sure I am not alone in feeling the incredible excitement of flying a new site. The jitters we all feel while driving or hiking to launch, the wonder that envelops us as we soar over new ground, and the never-ending drama that unfolds each time we get airborne are what makes every pilot addicted to our beloved sport.  That addiction drives many of us to seek out places to fly beyond our home hill, beyond our known horizon.   My partner and I have been traveling the oceans of the world on a kiteboarding and paragliding expedition since 2006.  In this time we’ve been fortunate to be the first to fly in a number of places, each more thrilling and mind-blowing than the last. But we made a discovery this season after crossing the infamous Mozambique Channel from Madagascar that will no doubt become one of the most treasured flying sites on earth.  Off the coast of the recently war-torn African nation of Mozambique, there is a small archipelago of islands that is home to, among other things, huge numbers of migrating Humpback whales, a very small number of flash resorts, and one of the prettiest lagoons on earth.  We sailed to this area in search of wind, arriving in the heart of the Southern Hemisphere winter, when tradewinds from the East predominate.  Our plan was to kiteboard and possibly use our tow winch to do a bit of

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

flying and exploring. We had no idea that the largest island in the group, Bazaruto, stretches north-to-south nearly 25 miles and houses what surely must be one of the largest dunes on the continent. Until our visit, the massive sand playground that fronts the island by the mesmerizing green Indian Ocean had never been flown.  Any pilot in the world would recognize the possibilities for flying at one glance. But since most people get to the island via the mainland, they never see the windward ocean side, which is how we arrived.  There is not a single man-made structure the whole length of the beach, and we never once had company other than ourselves. With a gentle sea breeze, the dune, which dwarfs Dune Du Pyla in France, is the stuff that even vivid dreamers cannot imagine.   Leave your shoes at home.  There is nothing but soft white sand.  To launch, simply get to the beach, chuck your wing out and take a single step. No need to hike up more than ten feet. Float your glider over your head, turn and loft into sheer bliss.  Drag your feet for a few inches or a few miles.  Get up high, huck acro over the ocean, return to the laminar elevator and repeat indefinitely.  Come down only when it gets too dark to see, or, if you arrive during a full moon, maybe not at all.

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero


[above] Looking down on perfection, the Best Odyssey team puts their tow winch to insanely good use. [right] Discovery at anchor in front of the main dune. [far right] Soaring at sunset in boardshorts and a smile. [next page] Wicked lines in a wicked cool place. Photos by Jody McDonald.


Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero


The Important Stuff Season: Go during the Southern Hemisphere winter, or SE Monsoon, June through October, when Easterly winds predominate and temperatures are cooler.  Look for winds from the NE to SE around 10 knots. Bring a speed wing for strong days.   Stay:  Unless you have a yacht, your only and best option is the fantastic and luxurious Indigo Bay Resort (www. <>), which sits directly behind the dune.  It’s not cheap, but it’s very romantic and has a great spa: bring your lover and she (or he) will forgive you for disappearing every day!  The resort can also now accommodate tandem passengers (they were pretty convinced after we gave them a spin).  A ten-minute car ride and very short hike and you’re there.  Contact Andy Conn, the General Manager, and tell them The Best Odyssey sent you.   info:  visit 24

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero


Dave Chapman 28

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

What do you call it when a person’s entire life is defined by flight? 

A Serendipitous Life of Flying by JohnHEINEY

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero


[above] Dave brought out the Easy Riser for the new Point of the Mountain Flight Park dedication in 2009. This is the same EasyRiser that Bill Foreman and Dave used for Flugtag 2006. Dave originally built this one in 1976 and recovered/ rebuilt it in 2006.


s a teenager, Dave Chapman needed to fly so badly he built his own hang glider. When he was at the Air Force Academy, the military wouldn’t accept a candidate for fighter pilot if he was too tall, but they made an exception for Dave. His height wasn’t a problem for the airlines; they looked for skill and reliability. Dave is now a captain. Throughout Dave’s life, work, military service and recreation have all been defined by flying. That sounds like serendipity or determination! I ran into Dave on a non-soarable evening at Point of the Mountain. 

JH: When did you start flying hang gliders? DC: In 1973, I was 14. I still fly today and have

made at least one flight a year. Some years have been pretty lean. When I was at the Academy, those were lean years. JH: Why have you continued to fly for so many years?


Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

DC: Besides the fact that I’ve survived? It’s in your blood. It’s a necessity. Just like breathing. If you stop, you die. JH: Do you fly any other aircraft? DC: Pretty much, if it has wings, I have given it a

shot. And some that don’t have wings. But hang gliding has been the one constant thread through all my flying. It’s what I started with and probably what I’ll end with. JH: How old are you? DC: 51. JH: Where were you born? DC: Livingston, Montana. I grew up in Gardner, which is about 70 miles south of Livingston, right by Yellowstone Park.

JH: Where do you live?

JH: Have you had any serious injuries?

DC: Salt Lake City

DC: Just one. Back in my standard days, I banged myself up pretty good. That accident was the reason I built a rigid-wing, the Icarus II. I didn’t trust the Rogallos after that.

JH: Where did you first fly hang gliders? DC: Right there in Gardner. I flew 1 ½ years before I saw another hang glider fly. The Eiperformance’s one page of directions on how-to-fly is not a particularly good instruction manual. My original Flexi-flyer plans were five bucks. I bought them out of Popular Science. I bought the hardware kit that came with all the tubing, hardware and cables and an instruction sheet. It showed how to build the glider and had a diagram of how to fly it. Hold it like this, run down the hill and when you get to the bottom, push out. JH: Who was your instructor? DC: Pure Luck.

JH: Have you done any cross-country flying? DC: Not much, until I started flying at King Mountain the last three years. Before that, my XC consisted of launching Heber and landing at my house 25 miles away. I treat my flying as more of a Zen-like experience. Almost like a meditation. I am lucky that I have outlets for all my other types of flying. If I want to go cross-country, that’s what I do for a living. Aerobatics, I rent an airplane that can do that. Hang gliding is my relaxation.

[top left] Dave Chapman launching the Sun IV at Johnson's. [bottom left] One thermal short of Victory ridge on route 1 at the Nationals. Great fun and good for just over 40 miles anyway! [above] Dave Chapman launching his Comet at Point of the Mountain, UT in 1985.

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero



Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

JH: Do you know how many hours you have? DC: I have over 16,000 hours in airplanes, but in hang gliding, unfortunately, no. I wish I knew. JH: Do you have a most memorable flight? DC: I took off from Bald Mountain, which is just

south of Pikes Peak. The wind was honkin’. We take off to the west there. This was when I was at the Academy. I had to do it surreptitiously, because cadets were not allowed to fly hang gliders. This was in the dangerous days. It was around 1979. I didn’t even have a parachute. I took off and climbed straight up. Pretty soon I started going backwards. When I saw I was looking down on Pikes Peak, I turned downwind and in 10-15 miles I was over Colorado Springs. I circled down and landed in Bear Creek Park. On May Day of 1993, I was flying the South Side (Point of the Mountain). We had just finished up a morning of flying. Everybody was packing up to go to the North Side, and I decided to break down at the bottom. I took off and was sinking out. About halfway down, I started going up. A convergence had set up, and I went straight up without circling! Next thing I knew I was passing Bob Schick in shorts and a T-shirt on his paraglider

at about 11,000 feet over the North Side, and pretty soon I am above twelve! I’m thinking “this is the biggest wonder-wind I’ve ever seen!” I put Lone Peak on the nose and soon was looking down at Lone Peak. I had to start flying thermals at this point. I went to Heber and flew around there for a while, looking down into Park City. Then I remembered my car was still at the Point. I turned around and flew back to the North Side. People were down there setting up. I circled around and landed back at the Point. (big smile) JH: Do you have a favorite flying site? DC: Probably the Point, just because it is so consistent. JH: What launch sites did you fly in the early days

that are not accessible today?

DC: Well, there are several sites around Gardner that are now off-limits. In the early days I would fly some great foothills south of the Yellowstone River which were in the park. Of course, you can’t fly in Yellowstone Park now. JH: What would you change about your life?

[opposite, clockwise from top] Dave Chapman wears a big grin at Mckenna beach on Maui after a flight off of Halakela crater in 1992. Dave test flying the Superfloater. Dave heading out to Lone Peak at the Point of the Mountain on the ATOS. South side of the Point. Flying his original design, a double surface strutted glider he designed at the Academy. This flight was in western Oklahoma in 1981 when he was at Air Force pilot training in Enid, OK. [below] Dave perfecting the skidder on the south side.

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[top] Dave Chapman launching his Comet at Point of the Mountain, UT in 1985. [above] Setting up the Sun IV and getting ready to launch at Eagle creek, MT in 1976.


DC: I’m pretty happy. JH: Do you have children and are any of them


DC: Of course. My daughter took a flight with you today. My son is a paraglider pilot and just about has his private pilot’s license and is instrument rated. He’s in college and ROTC. He wants to fly

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helicopters. He’s a good pilot. He took off at King last year from the lower launch at 8pm and went to 12,500 feet. He didn’t land until 10:30. My daughter is becoming a good paraglider pilot as well. JH: When did you first come to the Point?

DC: 1985.

JH: What does hang gliding mean to you?

JH: Tell me about that day. What glider were you

DC: Freedom, relaxation, challenge. Unlike all the rest of my flying, I get to point the hang glider wherever I want. I feel like Superman.

flying? Who else was flying here then?

DC: Charlie Baughman was here, Dave Rodriguez, Red was here, Jay, Gary Lagrone, Larry Tudor, Mike Tingey and many more. I was flying a Comet 185.

JH: What gliders have you flown/owned in your


[top] Dave and son, Sam after a flight at the Point in the summer of 2009. Sam's paraglider and Dave's Falcon are nicely matched for dissimilar formation flying. [above] Dave climbing off the King Mountain lower launch at the Nationals in 2009.

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[above] Dave Chapman flying his original design, a double surface strutted glider. [right] A nice day at the south side of the Point in the late 90s on the TRX. [opposite, top to bottom] Martha (wife) and Dave Chapman on the F-16 at Hill AFB in 1987. Dave's day job. The Cozy homebuilt aircraft (the perpetual project) ready for its wings and canard.


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DC: 18 ft Flexi-flyer, Icarus II, Easy Riser, Sun IV, Comet, TRX, Falcon, Atos, Oly and many I have forgotten over the years. When I was at the Academy, I designed and built my own glider. Bill Risner (Leading Edge Air Foils) sewed the sail for me. It was a strutted double-surface. JH: What do you do for a living? DC: Airline pilot. JH: Was hang gliding more fun in the single surface


DC: No. I think it’s all been fun. I had an epiphany last year when I moved up the performance scale to the Atos. I realized I was driving a Ferrari to the grocery store. I sold the Atos and reverted all the way back to a single-surface. I got a Falcon and even got a cocoon harness. Of course, I still have my TRX and Talon for flying the mountains and XC. JH: What do you do for fun or reward besides hang


DC: I work on my perpetual project, the airplane I’ve been building for twenty years. It’s a 3-seat Long EZ called the Cozy. Home-built from plans. Fiberglass and foam, hand lay-up. It keeps me off the street and out of the bars. (laughs) JH: What is the best thing that has ever happened

to you?

DC: My kids. They’re great. And I really like them as adults. I mean I’ve gotten to do some really cool stuff, all flying-related in my life. I’ve done a low-level a hundred feet off the ground at 500 knots in an F-16. I’ve done a full performance take-off in an empty 757 at LAX, hitting 5000 feet by the time I got to the beach, just to see what it would do. But for the depth of reward, the relationships I’ve built with my wife and kids and friends. That’s what you take with you. JH: What is the worst? DC: I failed at my first marriage. JH: What is the most rewarding thing in life? DC: Having a family. It’s a pain in the ass. (laughs) JH: What is the wildest thing that has happened to

you while flying?

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DC: One time I was flying in a 727 as co-pilot. It was the proverbial dark and stormy night. We were getting St. Elmo’s fire in the cockpit. We were leaning towards the center because this stuff was dancing all over the place. A flight attendant was beating on the door. The engineer flips the door open and the flight attendant bursts in and says “What the hell is that?” There was a plasma-ball floating down the middle of the airplane. Everybody was leaning away from it in their seats. It was like a UFO. That was cool. JH: What is the craziest thing you have ever witnessed in hang


DC: Watching Dangerous Dave the day he planted the controlbar corner into the North Side and walked away from it. He has got to be the luckiest guy I know. I saw a mid-air collision, but that was just disturbing. An F-15 and an F-5 ran together. JH: The guy who landed the A-320 in the Hudson River flies

sailplanes. Do you feel your experience in hang gliding makes you a safer airline pilot? DC: Absolutely. Unquestionably. Just the experience in micrometeorology. We deal with large systems during the flight, but when you are landing and taking off, you’re dealing with micro-meteorology. I’ve been in two wind-shear events, both here at Salt Lake.

In one of them my hang gliding experience plainly paid off. As we were coming into the airport, I saw various signs on the ground that I look for when I am hang gliding. The scale of the shear was such that it was very threatening, even to an 180,000 pound airplane. I ended up landing at Provo that day. JH: What was it like, going back to flying hang gliders after

zipping around the sky in an F-16?

DC: I went from flying the F-16 at Hill (AFB) on Friday, to coming down here to the Point and flying a hang glider on Saturday. It was so freeing. In preparing to fly the F-16, I had to put on a flight suit, G-suit, survival vest, the harness that hooks in to the ejection seat, the helmet, gloves, mask. You are encased. Hang gliding grounded me. There were so many rules and regulations and you had to drag a wing-man along. I loved flying in the service, but the only time I liked being in the military was from gear-up to gear-down. The rest of the time I hated it. Fighter pilots are incredibly competitive. I don’t mind being competitive in the air, but give it a rest on the ground. I escaped to hang gliding. Since I moved to Salt Lake, I have been addicted to the Point. I can come down here and just fly and enjoy myself. I don’t have to worry about flying the mission. JH: Do you have any other stories to tell me? DC: Around 1995 there was a hang gliding event planned at the










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Point, but I was on reserve and got called to fly. I was disappointed and the entire trip seemed to let me know I was being missed at the fly-in! If memory serves, the first day was something like Salt Lake City to LAX, and I saw hang gliders in the air at both the Point and at Crestline and Marshall. The next leg was up to San Francisco, and I saw gliders at Dockweiler and, again, at Funston on the way in. The next day I went back to Salt Lake City and saw gliders at Ed Levin, Mission Ridge, and the Point. Next leg was to Denver, and I saw gliders first at the Point, then on launch at Lookout Mountain west of Golden, Colorado. Finally to add

insult to injury, on the way back to SLC, I was telling the flight engineer that there was a competition going on at Dinosaur near the Utah/Colorado border. As we neared that area at 28,000,’ I remarked that we should be able to see some vehicles or gliders on launch. As if to taunt me, there were several gliders circling below us (around 18,000’) as we passed over, just south of Dinosaur! JH: What is your philosophy of Life? DC: Be happy. Don’t sweat the small stuff.


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Flying at Sylmar, California | photo by Jonathan Dietch. Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero


â&#x20AC;&#x153;Flytec instruments are known in the US for their quality, advanced technology, reliability and customer service.â&#x20AC;?

Last thermal locator: Shows the direction and distance to your last climb. This is presented numerically as a bearing and distance, as well as graphically on the compass rose. This is helpful in that it allows you to explore better possible areas of lift with the confidence that you can easily navigate back to the thermal you left. Wind speed and direction: Shown numerically as a bearing and velocity and graphically on the compass rose. Since it is not practical to measure the wind in a set MSL before take-off, you will still have moving aircraft, this value is derived from groundspeed while thermalling. For this an accurate Alt1. reason, the displayed wind values could be Altimeter 2 can be set as GPS altitude stale, but the 6015 tells you how old the or Flight Level or the metric/imperial value is, so you know how much weight to equivalent of altimeter 1. give the value. While not intended specifiNascent thermal beep: Similar to concally for determining the wind for landing, ventional vario-audio, but it indicates lift this feature, if used properly, can be very that is not quite strong enough to give the helpful on out-landings where there are no conventional vario beeping. This is helpvisual indications of the wind. ful when trying to locate weak sources of lift. Analog vario averager: Graphically dis- Flight recording plays average climb rate, side-by-side with The 6015 has a built-in data recorder that instantaneous climb rate. Useful when records, at a pre-set interval, the time of day, trying to optimize a given thermal, al- GPS position, GPS altitude, pressure altilowing you to quickly see if average climb tude and groundspeed. This information is greater or less than your current climb is saved as a secure IGC file that includes rate. a digital signature that prevents manipulaScrolling altitude and vario-graph: tion of the recording. The record interval Graphically displays climb rate or altitude can be set between 1 and 60 seconds. A over the past 35 seconds. By looking at 10-second record interval will yield a total the slope of the line, you can quickly de- record time of 55 hours. The 6015 has autotermine if your climb rate is improving or matic and manual flight recording. When deteriorating. This is useful when decid- set to automatic, the instrument will auing if it is time to leave a thermal and look tomatically detect the beginning and end for the next one. of a flight. When set to manual, the 6015


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will start recording as soon as it has fixed its GPS position, until the unit is switched off. Up to 50 recordings can be saved in the flight memory. Using programs like FlyChart and GPSDump allows you to view the recordings in Google earth. Because the flight data is saved in IGC format with a digital signature, the 6015 is ideal for participation in the OLC and world record claims. Also, because of this built-in security, flight files can be downloaded and emailed to a competition scorekeeper without fear of cheating. This opens up the possibility of not requiring pilots to go to a designated scorekeeper location to download after a long/late retrieve. This will also make it more convenient for local and regional fun comps that do not want to bother with a conventional, on-site scorekeeper download. Several comps in the US have already started accepting IGC files sent by email.

Using the 6015 for competition One of the most significant features recently added to the 6015 is the ability to set up a competition route, that is, a route to be used in cross-country competition, complete with entry/exit start-cylinders, start time and the ability to handle multiple starts. Setting up a competition task in the 6015 is very simple. First, build the route conventionally in the route menu. Then, add the start parameters established by the competition task committee when the route is activated. The start of a competition task can be challenging for new competition pilots. The 6015 has innovative features to help you manage the start and navigate the course. The instrument uses the compass rose and start circle icons to show if you are in the correct position to get a proper start, which way to go if you are out of position and a v-nom display to help you cross the start cylinder boundary at the optimal time. The 6015 will give you audible and visual cues to tell you when the start gate has opened, when you have a valid start, when you have achieved a turnpoint and when you have arrived at goal. The 6015 helps you navigate to turnpoints with the numerical track and bearing displays, as well as a directional pointer in the compass rose that becomes more exact when flying towards the waypoint. Lastly, glide icons let you know if you are on track to

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Flytec routinely releases new firmware for the 6015 that improves functionality or adds new features.â&#x20AC;?

make it to goal (active waypoint). Like its and FlyChart will self-license during the big brothers, the 6020 and 6030, the 6015 first launch of the application. FlyChart will record a point inside the turnpoint can be used to download your flights, cylinder the moment you achieve the transmit your flights to the OLC (Online turnpoint, regardless of the record inter- Contest), view your flights in Google val set, allowing the pilot to immediately Earth, save your flights in a searchable head to the next waypoint. and sortable electronic logbook, upload/ download waypoints and manage unlimAccessories ited waypoint lists. Another very handy Several attachment methods are avail- feature of FlyChart is the ability to comable for the 6015: two brackets for hang pletely set up the 6015 from the comput- tion and XC pilot, it is a perfect instrugliding and a quick-release riser bracket, er. ment for the new pilot to the advanced Flytec routinely releases new firmware recreational pilot who wants to fly the ocleg-strap and Parapocket for paragliding. Two airspeed sensors are availableâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; one for the 6015 that improves functionality casional competition. Flytec instruments for hang gliding and one for paragliding. or adds new features. The firmware can are known here in the US for their qualThere is also a very sleek acrylic face-cover be installed in the instrument in minutes ity, advanced technology, reliability and that offers significant protection from im- with an easy to use utility. The utility customer service. The 6015 comes with is available for free download from the a two-year warranty and is both FCC and pacts. Flytec website, as is the instrument firm- CE approved. At a retail price of $649, it ware. To date, all of the firmware revi- is a high quality instrument with many Included software The 6015 includes a license to FlyChart sions have been available at no charge. exceptional featuresâ&#x20AC;Ś.truly an instruflight software. Obtaining, installing and ment for all of us. licensing FlyChart is a breeze: download Bottom line FlyChart from the Flytec website, double The 6015 is a little powerhouse. While it click the FlyChart icon to install the ap- does not have all the advanced features of plication, connect the instrument to your the flagship Flytec 6020 and 6030 that computer with the included USB cable, are geared towards the serious competi-

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Tow-a-Days “You good to go?”

comes a crackle over the radios attached to each side of my helmet. With a deep bow of the head, I signaled my “OK to Tow” response, and Chris Santacroce of Super Fly puts his murdered-out Dodge flatbed into gear.  “Try to stay over the road the best you can,” he says, gently giving it some gas.  As the truck starts to amble down the dirt road, there is a pulling sensation at my tow bridle and I initiate my forward launch.   Less


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than ten steps later, I am airborne and settling into my harness. The custommade hydraulic CloudStreet winch on the back of Santacroce’s black truck lets out some line gradually, and I head up into the sky.  “Can’t help but feel like I am a human kite right now …,” I think to myself. Towing on a paraglider—over land or over the water—is our answer to gaining altitude quickly in a controlled manner when there isn’t a suitable launch, or

words & images by Kristjan Morgan

conditions don’t allow for high altitude.   In my case, it was time to work on some skills and maneuvers that are not commonly used at my home soaring site, Point of the Mountain, Utah.  The Point is flown generally under mellow conditions with laminar air flow, and it’s not always possible to attain the proper altitude needed for practicing safety maneuvers.  Super Fly includes 3-4 tows (some over land, some over water) to all of their students as part

[left] Becky Brim on tow. [right, top to bottom] Tow bridle. Author launching. Over the lake.

of their P2 certification package. In Santacroce’s words: “Towing totally benefits a new student because when the training hill isn’t working, we are out learning things like big ears, speed bar usage, big ears with speed bar and weight-shift turns, stabilo line pulls, tweaking the A’s, making consecutive circles, etc.—all with 3,000 feet of altitude.  It may never be possible to gain sufficient altitude at the training hill to work on these things.”   As I ascend, I notice slight vibrations coming up the line from the country road below.  By now, I am about 2,500 feet AGL and the earth below looks miniature.  It’s notably cooler in temperature up here, slightly windier, and it seems that I can even see the slight curvature of the Earth on the horizon.  The view alone is worth the tow!  As the line starts to go slack, I can make out the truck coming to a stop below me.  At the signal from the tow operator over the radio, I pull the handle on my bridle, and the orange drogue chute attached to the end of the tow line opens as it falls away from me.  Disconnected, I’m free to maneuver on my own now.  I’ve never been this high over the ground, and I must say, it’s pretty exhilarating.  Santa’s voice calls out over the walkie-talkies, “Ok, stow your bridle, and let’s do a few maneuvers.”  The radios are an essential part of the operation, as you need to be coached through each step.  The next 15 minutes are filled with lots of linepulling, making 360’s, gentle spirals, big ears, and speed bar engagement.  After a variety of maneuvers that I had never before done on the training hill, I glide back to the point where we started the tow, and I set my wing down in a wide open field next to the dirt road. Upon landing and gathering my gear, I head to where the group has gatherd and listen to Santa as he debriefs me on the performance of my flight. Everyone present was dialed into the same radio frequency, so they could hear the coaching as well as see my actions from the ground. This review from the tow-master is as important as the instruction in midair, as things tend to happen quickly Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero



Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

up there, and it was often difficult to get the full scope of what I was doing in the moment. Indeed, the review is equally valuable to the other participants, so they can visualize their upcoming flights and reflect on previous ones. Maneuvers done over the land are generally less intense, but Super Fly also conducts over-the-water tows in which you can experience self-induced collapses and aerobatic maneuvers (including an intentional reserve toss) if you fancy a go.  The water lends an extra safety net, should you come down under the reserve chute by your own merit, or otherwise.  In fact, I learned how to pull and recover from a full stall on a subsequent tow over Yuba Lake with Santacroce.  I’d be lying if I said that the sensation from a full stall is pleasant, but now I know how to induce it/correct it if the occasion ever arises.  Watching your glider in a shapeless mass above you is unsettling, but having a vigilant coach talk you through the experience over the radio makes it completely bearable.   If you have never done a full stall in your paragliding career, I highly rec-

ommend trying one over the water, preferably under supervision at a maneuvers clinic. Mastering that skill is imperative if you plan to become a competent acro pilot, a XC pilot, or choose to fly in the mountains.    In my third year of flying, I am forever grateful for the invaluable lessons I learned from towing in my early days.  Since then, I’ve experienced many partial collapses (a couple that were up to 75%) while flying strong mountain thermals and have been able to correct the wing with little-to-no anxiety.  I can’t imagine taking a big whack while entering a sharp thermal and not having a clue as to how to react in case of emergency.  Simply put, you have to get familiar with how your wing reacts under turbulence, if you want to have a long career.  More important is discovering how YOU will react when the situation calls for serious urgency.  Towing affords you the altitude and coaching to practice these skills. I will make it an annual tradition to get out behind the boat or truck at the beginning of each season.  My success and my life depend on it.

“Watching your glider in a shapeless mass above you is unsettling, but having a vigilant coach talk you through the experience over the radio makes it completely bearable.”

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero


Dear USHPA Member,

To be honest, that’s mostly hype. Humans are an earthbound species. We walk or roll around and only fly when we have to, for If you’ve been around for a while, you know I have been, too. the most part. Just a small percentage of the world’s population OK, not that long, not for ages, not like the grey-bearded-acid- want to fly for fun in any aircraft, and only a small percentage of washed-jeans guy sitting under his hang glider or as long as Chris those people actually want to fly with an aircraft so flimsy and Santacroce, but for a while. I’ve been kind of busy lately and light that you can carry it on your back for five minutes without haven’t contributed much to this, my favorite, free flight maga- getting tired. This group— paraglider pilots—love one of the zine. But I have ended my short sabbatical at the request of our world’s smallest sports. Now, take these members of the world’s editor, Mr. Greece, in order to call your attention to a hot new smallest sport, and find the percentage of us who are really into trend in airborne sports. USHPA's editor emailed and asked me skiing and want to fly fast and low in the mountains in the winto tell you all about speed flying—the winter kind, where you tertime. The cross-section of the population you now have enuse skis and stuff. I said yes, because really, who better to do so? gages in a sport whose number of participants is infinitesimally So I’ll get right to the point: Speed Flying, also known as small. That’s speed flying! Fringe or not, speed flying is here to stay. It is not going to be Speed Riding, is awesome. Really, totally radical. Speed Flying banned, and if it is, we will still do it. Companies will continue is the hottest thing since BluBlockers and Beanie Babies. Speed to make speed wings, and pilots will continue to discover this Flying has limitless potential to make you rich, famous, and very truly amazing activity. Some of us will always be attracted to the sexy. Speed Flying is a big WIN!

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feeling of skimming terrain at high speeds, with or without skis. Sure, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but we love it. The thought of floating just over the hill while parked in 30mph winds is what gets some of us out of bed in the morning. Whether or not it’s what’s in your bag already, allow me to break down the average pilot’s progression in the sport. Speed Flying for Beginners

If you already fly paragliders and/or like skiing, then you will be a beginner speed flyer for about five minutes. So relax and 52

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enjoy it, and try not to rush your progression. It’s really pretty simple: you pull one, and it goes left. You pull the other, and it goes right. Pull both to stop, sort of. That may sound ridiculous, and you might think I am joking, but I’m not. It really is that simple. You need to get used to how much altitude you will lose in a turn and what your glide angle is. Launching and landing are a cinch if you understand the above—meaning, you need to choose a proper launch area based on your glide angle, and you need to find a nice landing based on your understanding of how much altitude you will lose getting there (glide angle, again) and setting up (altitude loss in turns). It’s basic, see?

Speed Flying for Intermediates

Speed Flying For Pros

There are no Intermediate Speed Flyers. Once you can launch and fly and land, you’re an expert. See below.

Going pro is the most exciting part of your speed flying career. You might have only started speed flying yesterday, but that’s OK. The sport is so new, and there are so few people doing it, that no one is capable of discerning your skill level or even determining what skill is. Just the fact that… “Yer doin that thing we saw on youtube…” is enough to make you an absolute pro. I would also highly recommend becoming a dealer for a brand of speed flying wings, or better yet, an importer! At this point in your career, a

Speed Flying For Experts

Now that you’re an expert, you’re instantly ready to go pro.

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero



Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

few pieces of equipment should be considered mandatory: Helmet Camera. Absolutely crucial. If you aren’t sharing your flights online, you’re not a speed flyer. Get yours from YouTube account. Again, this is obligatory. Watching your video play-counter go up is like watching your bank balance magically increase, except different. An attitude. You’re not just a paraglider pilot or a skydiver any more. You’re a groundlaunching-speed-flying-almost-BASE-jumping-hardcore-Speed Flyer / Speed Rider. Feel free to make snide comments on and start looking down on normal paraglider pilots who don’t speed fly. They’re fully lame, anyway. Sponsorship. This part is easy, but it’s still important. It doesn’t matter if you only get sponsored by a company that makes gym socks; you need a logo to put on your wing as well as at the beginning and end of your online videos. If you try for days and still can’t get sponsored, consider paying out of pocket to put a cool company’s logo on your wing. When they see the super-sick footage on your YouTube channel, they’ll come to their senses and write you a check.


n summary, Speed Flying really is a simple activity with hitherto unseen possibilities for rapid progression, due to its “extreme” allure and basic simplicity, not to mention ease. Speedflying, like all other airsports, is best learned by careful practice and slow learning. If you have a question about the conditions, or practices of speedflying it is best to refrain from taking uncalculated risks.

CAUTION Speedflying is a new sport requiring its own set of skills and experience. While speedflying is similar to paragliding, USHPA has not developed a training program for speedflying and USHPA does not offer instructor certification or pilot ratings for speedflying at this point in time. Those interested in this sport are encouraged to exercise care as they develop their speedflying skills as a pioneer in this sport.

Mattt G likes skiing, BASE jumping, paragliding, and speed flying. He has a blog just like everyone else’s, except funnier and with far cooler videos, at He wrote this article while in Pakistani airspace. Seriously.

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Dave Aldrich

[top] Evening flight at Dunlap, California. [above] A little fun over Andy Jackson Airpark. [right] Dave Childs setting up for a landing at Andy Jackson Airpark. [opposite] Fly by at Crestline, CA on my new custom T2C. [previous page] Kenny Westfall's evening Wangs over Andy Jackson.


[top] Launching the “Embree” launch of the new “Big-O-Loop” at Andy Jackson Airpark. [left] Rod Clark landing at Andy Jackson. [above] Dusty Rhodes landing his paraglider at Andy Jackson.

[above] Steve Pearson going for the cone while test flying a new Wills Wing T2C at Andy Jackson. [top right] Mike Zeller and [right] Chris Van Velden landing at Andy Jackson Airpark.


[immediate left] Sunset. [far left] Steve Corban setting up for a landing at Andy Jackson Airpark on his sensor. [below] Flying over Crestline, CA as clouds form.

[above] Composite shot of Eric Delf buzzing the LZ at Andy Jackson. [right] Summer time soaring over Crestline, California.


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Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero


Mr. Ho Dangles Above, Tyler Horne goes shopping for cliff dwellings over Jackson, Wyoming | Photo by Julie Weinberger. To the right, POV | photo by Tyler Horne.


Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

Ydays of bamboo and plastic to the present.

ou hold the history of our sport, from the earliest

Within these pages you’ll find the evolution of foot-launched flight from the first days of bamboo dune-skimmers to the modern variety of hang gliders, paragliders and rigid wings. Each PDF file is one complete magazine, just as originally published. Pages with color have produced as color scans, the rest scanned as black and white images. Blemishes or imperfections are present in the original source magazines, some of which were the only known copies remaining.

1971 - 1973 1972 - 1976 1976 - 2003 1993 - 2003 2003 - 2008

Low & Slow Ground Skimmer Hang Gliding Paragliding Hang Gliding & Paragliding

Future issues will be available on an update disk. Compilation copyright. 19742008, US Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association. All rights reserved. Other material republished by permission of copyright holders. Please don’t duplicate or reproduce this work without permission. For limited reprint permission (club newsletters, etc.) contact the USHPA office at 1-800-616-6888 or E-mail: Pages scanned and indexed by Scandoc, Inc. of Aracata, CA. Cover design by Gregory Gillam,

Each disk includes Adobe Acrobat Reader Version 7 for Windows, Macintosh and Linux systems.


2011 g & Paragliding Association United States Hang Glidin





78 |

Balance by Steve Messman


few weeks ago, a couple of friends and I began discussing the need for a club logo. Fancying myself as a sort of art-thinking person, I jumped on the chance to draw a couple of ideas. I should note that in reality I only fancy myself as a person who can do art. My art teacher of way-back-when told me I couldn’t draw a straight line—or a curved one either, for that matter—and I still can’t. When I do occasionally paint pictures, I use sponges and waxed paper and a lot of imagination. Anyway, in order get some idea of what an artistic wing might look like, I put one of my paragliding pictures on some photo editing software, removed the color, reduced the photo to simple lines, reversed the blacks and whites, and then traced the results to connect all the dots. I swear……I swear that the wing emerged, unguided by my own consciousness, in the shape of an unfolding version of the yin and yang. I was struck by that that familiarity and, during that same moment, I was overcome by a flood of emotions and memories. Fragments of my past flickered through memory cells like a 3D movie at the IMAX. I watched a much younger version of myself talking to one son about bringing balance into his life. I saw myself searching for my life’s answers when I didn’t even know the questions. I found myself wondering what had become of the me I should have been. I felt the anxiety of confusion and the fear of trauma. And then—I felt tranquility. I found myself wrapped in a bubble of serenity that only foot launch pilots and angels know. I found myself standing on launch, surrounded by people, aware of their presence yet not being a part of them. I felt only the strength of thin lines crossing my hands and the caress of soft winds on my face. I felt myself focused on the present, focused on the wind, the wing, the ground. I felt the tug of those lines as the winds gave rise to flight. I felt the joy of anticipation, and then, finally, near perfect weightlessness as earth was replaced by air and as gravity was replaced by bliss.


Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

Photo by Jonathan Dietch

I felt the smile, the peace, and eventually, the landing. I felt the cycle of flight return to its point of origin. I felt balance. I realized when I looked at my “artistic” version of a wing that, at least for now, flight is one of the few aspects of my life that I can look to for a feeling, a sense, a kinship with balance. As I gave thought to that concept, I first feared that I might be using flight as a mere escape from life’s pains. Reflection showed me that it is much greater, much deeper, and much more valuable than that. Yes, of course, flight just feels good, but its teachings are life-essential. Flight teaches me that I can learn from the past to assist in the present. It teaches me that even small things can have large consequences. It teaches me that fear often tempers advancement, and that intelligence is often smashed by ignorance. Conversely, flight teaches me that the opposites must also be true: the present immediately becomes the past to learn from, seemingly large consequences can actually be quite small, advancement often tempers fear, and ignorance is often smashed by intelligence. Most important, flight teaches me that if I am going to take the jump, it becomes my job to also stick the landing. Walking to the crest of a hilltop tracks chills along my spine and leaves me with a feeling of serenity and peace that I simply cannot put to words. Unfolding the wing allows me the time to bask in those feelings, which are only multiplied by the launch, but hanging in that harness at the top of the thermal, overlooking mile after mile of clouds, of earth, and streets, and hills, and houses, and trees, and beauty is overwhelmingly indescribable. I never fully understood why—until now. Now, I realize that flying is the reward that balances hard work and practice. I know that flying brings with it lessons that are as essential to life as air, and I know that without it, my life would be significantly different. I know that flight is a choice that, on the human side, just feels good and right, but on the spiritual side is as essential as a seed to a plant or a sunrise to a sunset. Flight is a physical representation of life’s many cycles. It is balance.

Hang Gliding & Paragliding Vol41/Iss02 Feb 2011  
Hang Gliding & Paragliding Vol41/Iss02 Feb 2011  

Official USHPA Magazine